“Costa Rica, the Awakening of Nature” is a series of 3 films, each lasting one hour that was commissioned by the Franco Alemán Arte channel (European cultural channel) to publicize the exuberant nature of Costa Rica. This production which was made in 2019 and was broadcast in 2020 since then has had a “great hit” internationally.
According to its producer Luis Miranda (who is Costa Rican but has been living in France for 35 years), the latest good news about this series of films is that National Geographic acquired the rights, and is now being broadcast in all of Latin America since June 11th.
“The most beautiful thing is that it will be shown at the time of highest audience between 8 pm and 9 pm in all Latin American countries and the public will be able to learn about Costa Rican nature,” Miranda explained.
What are the episodes based on?
“Each episode deals with different topics related to Costa Rican nature, with images of high international quality and with a slightly critical point of view about the achievements and challenges that Costa Rica has to conserve nature that has been achieved to date.
The first episode talks only about the dry forest of the Guanacaste Conservation Area (ACG). This one-hour episode is dedicated to ACG since it is a miracle in this world that there is almost no good news during so many problems such as climate change, and the disappearance of the species, for example; the ACG is a unique example in the world because it has managed to restore a dry forest ecosystem that has disappeared.
The second episode talks about the importance of the fauna in the forests of Costa Rica, with different species such as the Wild Pig, the Jaguar, the Tapirs, the Spider Monkeys, and the emblematic Green Macaw, to know how all these species depend on the forests. This episode is called “The Return of the Animals”, in it we also filmed at the ACG to refer to the Little Pig called Chanchín and we talked about the problem of its disappearance and how it affects the forests since they are the main prey of the Jaguar and if they disappear the Jaguar also disappears; then here the whole chain of life is demonstrated.
The third episode is about the marine spaces of Costa Rica, it is called “The sea the last challenge”; There we went to Cocos Island to film with a conservationist Randall Arauz, who is very aggressive in defending sharks because they are disappearing, this species is equivalent to the jaguar in the sea and if they disappear the entire marine ecosystem will disappear. The whales and the marine sharks were also filmed in the Golfo Dulce, and we focused on many species; here we also explain the problem of pesticide contamination that goes directly into the sea.
“All of this is a beautiful visual spectacle and a tribute to Costa Rica because it is a unique example in the world, when it almost lost 70% of its primary forests in the 1980s and despite everything, it has managed to reforest and put the nature as their first source of income and that is something very positive”, explained the producer.
About the production process
The images were filmed by 3 cameramen who work in Costa Rica: Alonso Sánchez, who works with the BBC, NatGeo, and others; Bryan Moghary and Phillipe de Andrade highly recognized photographers. We worked with Sergio Gutiérrez also as a sound engineer.
“With great pride, I can say that most of the filming was Costa Rican production and that is a very good thing since most productions of this type that come to film in Costa Rica are with foreign teams, where the Americans or foreigners bring all the main jobs and I think this is the only exception”, commented Miranda.
According to the producer, this series of films was very successful in Europe where it was broadcast at Christmas 2020 and had a large audience, but it has also been distributed in about 40 countries around the world such as China, Russia, Nordic countries, South Africa, England and now Latin America.
The initiative arose when the Arte channel contacted the producer to propose an idea for a documentary film about Costa Rica; They knew that Don Luis was a “Tico”, and they were interested in this, but also in working on other occasions with this Franco-German channel, with different topics such as Syria, Iraq, Turkey, among others.
“I have made more than 30 documentaries, however, this one was very nice because I worked with wildlife which was a discovery and I am very happy because normally those who make these documentaries are foreigners and there are very few Hispanics and Latinos and I think that no Costa Ricans had done it before. Everything I learned from biologists, and park rangers, among others, has inspired me to continue working on these issues. Now I have a new project contracted by the same channel, on the forests of Central America from Mexico to Panama, and we are going to be here again”, he concluded.